Thursday, June 26, 2014

Need computer guru help, please

I'm trying to solve a friend's problem, and need some computer advice, please.

She has an Acer Chromebook computer, which has no built-in operating system, but runs off the Web using cloud computing and apps for all its software and data.  She would like to be able to run local applications such as LibreOffice, and also store data locally (e.g. large quantities of music, etc.).

I think it should be perfectly possible to load a variant of Linux onto her Chromebook, but would that also negate its use as a Chrome computer?  Which variant of Linux would work best on a lower-capacity system like this?  Can one have both systems (Linux and Chrome) on the same computer in a dual-boot configuration?  Has anyone 'rooted' a Chromebook to convert it to a Linux box, and if so, can you provide any helpful hints on how to go about it?  Can one plug in an external hard drive to use as local storage?

I'll be very grateful for your help.  Thanks in advance.



dorfer21 said...

Dual Booting is going to depend on the size of the local drive. I would still try one of the smaller Linux distros, just to save space. one moere caveat is the processor architecture, if it has an INTEL processor, most any distro should work, but if it has an ARM processor, you may have issues finding a distro complied for that architecture.

Here are some linkies for you to peruse:

Brad said...

A bit of googling, and...have a look here:

DaddyBear said...

You can put an Ubuntu ISO onto a thumb drive and boot from that into a desktop if she doesn't want to mess with dual booting. Of course, that assumes that the Chromebook has a USB port and supports booting from it.

Unknown said...

I found instruction for dual booting a Acer C720 Chromebook . The article gives you the option of dual booting between ChromeOS and Ubuntu, or removing Chrome OS and installing Bodhi Linux. The link is

tweell said...

And here's ITWorld's method to run Linux on a Chromebook:

This runs alongside Chrome, so you may need to watch drive space more, but doesn't require rebooting to switch between the two.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I use Puppy Precise on older computers and it will run out of the CD tray. It would be one to try and it wouldn't mess with the existing system.

wordlet said...

I would recommend loading the music onto google drive, or google play music or whatever. Then learning how to use google docs (which can now edit word docs directly). The chromebook won't have much space or speed on it, it's meant to store and do things in the cloud. If you try to use it as anything different you're going to have a bad user experience.

Borepatch said...

Late to the party, but you have good advice here.

Mark/GreyLocke said...

That is one of the reasons I used the Knoppix OS for my KTD Drive.

The small disc for Knoppix can be run from a CD or a USB Stick. When it is installed on a hard drive it converts to Debian Linux.

Knoppix works very similar to windows and comes with Libre Office already installed.